Multisite & SSL Issue

So, I've been trying to setup multisite with no luck. It's definitey due to the changes being made to wp-config.

After some digging I think I might have found the issue.

Our current site uses https exclusively. So will our new one on a new domain/multisite install. I know about the domain mapping plugin. No worries there.

Do I need a Multi-Domain (UCC) BEFORE I try to set this up? That's not an issue to get. Just trying to confirm that's the problem.

Unfortunately, right now, in the middle of the day I can't mess with our site (I know - no staging - bad).

Thanks,

Ron

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello Ron,

    I hope you're well today and thank you for your question!

    Can you please elaborate a bit more on what the issue exactly is?

    You mentioned two of our plugins: Domain Mapping and Multi-Domains. These server different purpose.

    The Domain Mapping plugin lets you add a 3rd-party top-level domain to any existing sub-site of your Multisite. For example:

    - main domain is "domain.com"
    - sub-site is "sub.domain.com"
    - with Domain mapping you can add "another.com" to the "sub.domain.com" so that sub-site can be available under either "another.com" only or both "another.com" and "sub.domain.com".

    The Multi-Domains plugin works a bit different and it let you choose under which of the top level domains a new sub-site will be created. For example:

    - main domain is "domain.com";
    - there's "another.com" domain added to Multi-Domains plugin
    - the main site will be available only under the "domain.com"
    - user can select whether the new subsite will be "sub.domain.com" or "sub.another.com"

    In both cases, there's an issue of SSL certificate. Basic certificate for a Multisite should either a regular single domain certificate (if you wish to protect only a single site: main one) or a wild-cart certificate.

    In case of both plugins if you wish to secure more than just a main site/domain, you would either need a multi-domain certificate covering all the domains that you wish to protect or a host that allows you to use multiple single certificates with one account.

    That's a general answer though. Let me know a bit more about this specific issue please so we could provide you with more accurate answer.

    Best regards,
    Adam

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello Ron!

    Should I be able to setup multisite with the first one (the existing site) before getting the multi-domain SSL cert?

    That doesn't actually matter much whether you get the SSL cert first or later though for convenience of setting things up I'd start with that. That would spare you headache of "invalid certificate" issues when configuring WP to run over HTTPS connection and adding additional domains.

    The certificate has to include all the domains you are going to use, furthermore, in this case it should also allow sub-domains if those are going to be covered by SSL.

    That's the tricky part because Multi-Domain certificates usually require you to define domain "upfront". If you want to add another one, you need to re-issue certificate and update cert files on the server.

    Whether you should setup your multisite on first or second domain is also a matter of your personal preference: which domain should be used for the main site. If you decide to go with "comfortkingwindowsanddors.ca" this domain will be used as a main domain (the main site). The other one won't be used to access the main site but you will be able to create sub-sites under its subdomains.

    In case of that setup, I think multiple single-domain wild-cart certificates could work best if you host supports that. Why not reaching out to them and asking if you could use multiple single-domain wild-cart certificates with a single account? More and more hosts supports that and that would "make your life easier" as these certs are cheaper, you could always add more if you decided to add new domain(s) and also it would let you easily cover additional 3rd party top level domain in case you or your users would decide to map domains to the sub-sites in future :slight_smile:

    Best regards,
    Adam

  • Comfort King

    Thanks Adam.

    I should have clarified. There will never be subdomains for any reason.

    Both of these sites host landing pages for our 2 businesses - nothing more. They're not even the main domains (that's a whole other story). My biggest reason for even using a multisite setup is that I want to be able to copy landing pages from one domain to the other easily. We use Divi so it's not as easy as I'd like. The other thing I like is being able to admin both sites (with the 2 main domains eventually being hosted as part of the multisite) from the same backend.

    As far as the cost - not really relevant. I can get a 5 domain cert from godaddy for a little over $200/year. I can justify that.

    I think I'll go ahead and buy that and then take another crack at multisite setup. I can just add all 4 domains when I set it up so I won't have to reissue down the road.

    I'll post back here if I have any problems with the setup.

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello Rob!

    I should have clarified. There will never be subdomains for any reason.

    This changes optics significantly. Multi-Domains plugin will not let you do this. It doesn't let you create two sites on a Multisite under two different domains. It is only letting you select under which of the domain the sub-domain will be created.

    - a "domainA.com" is used to install Multisite
    - this domain can be used to access main site of the Multisite
    - a "domainB.com" is added using Multi-Domains plugin
    - this domain can't be used to access main site of the Multiste nor any other site of the multisite
    - instead a new site can be created either as "subsite.domainA.com" or a "subsite.domainB.com".

    If you wish to get two sites in a Multisite install that would both be available under their own top level domains, the Domain Mapping would be a plugin of choice. Such setup would go like this:

    - the "domainA.com" is used to setup Multisite
    - the "domainA.com" becomes main site of Multisite (one of your "landing sites")
    - the "subsite.domainA.com" is created (this will be your second "landing site")
    - the "domainB.com" is mapped to the "subsite.domainA.com"

    The Domain Mapping plugin lets you setup mapping the way that the "second landing site" would be available only via the "domainB.com" and any attempt to access it directly via "subsite.domainA.com" would be redirected (SEO-friendly) to the "domainB.com" (the mapped domain).

    I agree however that in this case you indeed don't need to bother about multiple single certificates. A Multiple-domains certificate covering "domainA.com", "subsite.domainA.com" (this is to avoid "insecure content"/"mixed content" issues) and "domainB.com" would suffice.

    My biggest reason for even using a multisite setup is that I want to be able to copy landing pages from one domain to the other easily. We use Divi so it's not as easy as I'd like. The other thing I like is being able to admin both sites (with the 2 main domains eventually being hosted as part of the multisite) from the same backend.

    That makes sense and Multisite setup should make it much easier for you, both copying landing pages and "centralized" administration.

    Best regards,
    Adam

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